Barcelona star fined for taking off Barca shirt to uncover Newell’s Old Boys pullover to pay tribute to late Argentine extraordinary
Lionel Messi and Barcelona have been fined a joined €780 ($943) after the player was demonstrated a yellow card for lifting his shirt to honor the late Diego Maradona following his objective in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Osasuna.
Lionel Messi, who was fined €600 while his club were fined 180, paid homage to his late compatriot by taking off his Barca shirt to reveal a Newell’s Old Boys jersey belonging to Maradona, a gesture that was praised around the world.
Yet the Spanish federation’s competition committee showed little sympathy when upholding the rules, rejecting Barca’s protests against the punishment and their suggestion it should be waived as the gesture was a tribute to Maradona.
The committee’s statement said that while it accepted the gesture was a tribute, article 93 of the disciplinary code states that a player should be punished for removing their shirt when celebrating, irrespective of the motive.
The statement added that Messi could only have had the sanction waived if he had been given the booking in error.
Messi supports Newell’s Old Boys and played for the club’s junior team before leaving for Barca aged 13.
He had additionally honored Maradona, who played for the Rosario side in 1993, when the World Cup champ passed on last Wednesday.
“He has left us yet he isn’t going anyplace in light of the fact that Diego is everlasting,” Messi composed on Instagram.